Vegetarian Classics: 350 Essential Recipes for Every Course and Every Meal

Overview

Jeanne Lemlin sets the standard for accessible and appealing vegetarian cooking. With Vegetarian Classics, Jeanne offers her most useful and comprehensive book to date: an essential collection of 300 no-fail recipes for soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, calzones, casseroles, stir-fries, stove-top dishes, sides, snacks, desserts, and breakfasts. Here you'll find the very best renditions of such classic meat-free dishes as Lentil Soup, Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragu, and Vegetable Curry — as well as such ...

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Overview

Jeanne Lemlin sets the standard for accessible and appealing vegetarian cooking. With Vegetarian Classics, Jeanne offers her most useful and comprehensive book to date: an essential collection of 300 no-fail recipes for soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, calzones, casseroles, stir-fries, stove-top dishes, sides, snacks, desserts, and breakfasts. Here you'll find the very best renditions of such classic meat-free dishes as Lentil Soup, Polenta with Wild Mushroom Ragu, and Vegetable Curry — as well as such new and updated favorites as Provencal Green Bean Salad, Penne with Garlicky Butternut Squash, and White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake. Each recipe is deeply satisfying and surprisingly simple, reflecting Jeanne's trademark dedication to uncomplicated techniques and unparalleled flavor.

So whether you are a vegetarian hoping to add new zest to your recipe repertoire, or even a meat eater who enjoys good, honest food, Vegetarian Classics is sure to provide an indispensable bounty of great recipes and insightful methods that will elevate your cooking from ordinary to exceptional.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
We vegetarians are known for daring. We improvise on culinary tradition; we riff on the spice rack. But despite our taste for wild variations, some dishes remain standard in every vegetarian repertoire. “I enjoy alternating more adventurous menus with tried-and-true favorites that have withstood the test of time,” explains award-winning cookbook author Jeanne Lemlin. “A meatless lasagna bolstered by a garlicky marinara sauce, a thick and hearty lentil soup, vegetarian enchiladas that stick to your ribs, and a vegetable pot pie…have become staples in vegetarian kitchens.” In this book, Lemlin collects for us the greatest hits of vegetarian cooking -- all those solid, satisfying dishes we return to when we’re ready for homey comfort.

Here, we find all the classics of meatless cuisine: Classic Vegetarian Lasagna, Classic Tabbouli, Classic Lentil Soup, Shepherd’s Pie, and so on. But we also find the more unusual delicacies that will become standards: Indonesian Style Curried Vegetable Soup with Coconut Milk; Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas; Carmelized Onion, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Pizza with a Beer Crust; and Gorgonzola Polenta Topped with Braised Green Beans. Lemlin, author of Simple Vegetarian Pleasures and the award-winning Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, is perhaps the foremost authority on accessible, healthy vegetarian cooking -- so this hefty book of favorites should be in every vegetarian library. But it’s also an excellent introduction for those just beginning to explore vegetarian cooking: Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics gives us the finest of the basics. (Jesse Gale)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this ideal starter book, Lemlin (Vegetarian Pleasures; Simple Vegetarian Pleasures) presents the comfort foods that have sustained the vegetarian movement for the past 40 years. She introduces the new vegetarian to staples like bulgur, wheat berries and rice in a helpful guide to ingredients, along with a few standard recipes such as Classic Tabbouli, Classic Cold Noodles with Peanut Sauce and Classic Lentil Soup. Yet Lemlin isn't puritanical; eschewing the heavy lentil and sunflower-seed loafs of yesteryear, she encourages cooking that is "more in keeping with our need for pleasure." Thus, she includes Tortellini with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Cheese but not, say, Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Tofu and Tomato Sauce. Still, there's little here to satisfy the gourmand: some dishes are bland (Chickpea Soup with Garlic Crostini), all of the tart dishes call for frozen puff pastry and bread crumbs appear in otherwise respectable recipes (Crustless Yellow Squash, Red Pepper and Spinach Pie and Greens, Potato and Feta Cheese Pie). However, the dessert chapter, with Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread and Lemon Almond Cake, will satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth. Too many vegetarian cookbook writers forget the joys of white flour, but not Lemlin: homey recipes like Ginger Cream Scones, Best-Ever Doughnuts and even a popover recipe make this a must-have for beginning bakers and vegetarians alike. Agent, Susan Lescher. (May) Forecast: With vegetarian cooking more popular than ever, this introduction to the easy basics should find readers. But given that similar cookbooks already exist, it's unlikely to become canonical. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Lemlin is the author of several other vegetarian cookbooks, including the excellent Vegetarian Pleasures. Once again, she offers a wide-ranging collection of simple, flavorful dishes, from a homey Classic Split Pea Soup to an elegant Leek Tart to a rich White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake a far cry from the heavy lentil loaves and carob brownies that once typified vegetarian food. Lemlin's recipes should appeal to both vegetarians and "meat eaters" alike, making her book especially useful for families where there are some of each. Highly recommended. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060194826
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/8/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 7.37 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Baked Orzo with
Spinach, Tomatoes,
and Corn

This is an ideal casserole to make when guests are coming and you need something quick, colorful, exceptionally tasty, and that can be assembled in advance. The feta cheese gives a little spunk to the flavorings without dominating the finished dish, so be sure to include it.

Serves 4-6

1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (10-ounce) bag triple-washed fresh spinach, stems
discarded and leaves torn in half4 tablespoons olive oil
6 large garlic doves, minced
One 14-ounce can ready-cut diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous seasoning freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Muenster cheese

1. Bring a large quantity of water to a boil in a stockpot. Add the orzo and cook just until it approaches the al dente stage, about 10 minutes; it will cook further in the oven. Stir in the spinach and cook 30 seconds. Drain very thoroughly in a colander. Return the mixture to the pot or place in a large mixing bowl. Pour on I tablespoon oil and toss to coat well. Let cool.

2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook I minute, or until barely colored. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Mix the tomatoes into the orzo along with the corn, feta cheese, salt, and pepper.

4. Oil a shallow 3-quart casserole (such as a 9 x 13-inch baking dish). Spread half the orzo mixture into the dish. Sprinkle on the Muenster cheese. Spread the remaining orzo over the cheese. Cover the dish with foil.(The casserole can be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance. Chill if longer than 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.)

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the casserole, covered, for 30 minutes, or until piping hot throughout.


Vegetable Tangine

A tagine is a North African stew traditionally served on couscous; in fact, the whole concoction is often referred to simply as "couscous." Vegetable couscous is an ideal vegetarian staple--quick, full-flavored, and substantial. Don't let the long list of ingredients dissuade you from preparing this dish if you are pressed for time because half of the items are spices, and the dish really is easy to assemble.

Serves 4 Generously

The Stew:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic doves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups diced green beans
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed in a strainer
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into sixths and diced

The Couscous:

2 1/4cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups couscous

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in all the spices and saute 2 minutes, stirring often.

2. Mix in the tomatoes, water, saffron, carrot, sweet potato, beans, raisins, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.

3. Mix in the chickpeas and zucchini, cover the pot, and cook 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. At this point check the consistency of the sauce. If it seems too watery, cook uncovered a few minutes to thicken it.

4. To make the couscous, combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb all the liquid. Fluff with a fork before serving. Place a portion of couscous in the center of each serving plate and top with a mound of vegetables.

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First Chapter

Baked Orzo with
Spinach, Tomatoes,
and Corn

This is an ideal casserole to make when guests are coming and you need something quick, colorful, exceptionally tasty, and that can be assembled in advance. The feta cheese gives a little spunk to the flavorings without dominating the finished dish, so be sure to include it.

Serves 4-6

1 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 (10-ounce) bag triple-washed fresh spinach, stems
discarded and leaves torn in half4 tablespoons olive oil
6 large garlic doves, minced
One 14-ounce can ready-cut diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous seasoning freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Muenster cheese

1. Bring a large quantity of water to a boil in a stockpot. Add the orzo and cook just until it approaches the al dente stage, about 10 minutes; it will cook further in the oven. Stir in the spinach and cook 30 seconds. Drain very thoroughly in a colander. Return the mixture to the pot or place in a large mixing bowl. Pour on I tablespoon oil and toss to coat well. Let cool.

2. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook I minute, or until barely colored. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice and simmer 5 minutes.

3. Mix the tomatoes into the orzo along with the corn, feta cheese, salt, and pepper.

4. Oil a shallow 3-quart casserole (such as a 9 x 13-inch baking dish). Spread half the orzo mixture into the dish. Sprinkle on the Muenster cheese. Spread the remaining orzo over the cheese. Cover the dish withfoil. (The casserole can be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance. Chill if longer than 2 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.)

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the casserole, covered, for 30 minutes, or until piping hot throughout.


Vegetable Tangine

A tagine is a North African stew traditionally served on couscous; in fact, the whole concoction is often referred to simply as "couscous." Vegetable couscous is an ideal vegetarian staple--quick, full-flavored, and substantial. Don't let the long list of ingredients dissuade you from preparing this dish if you are pressed for time because half of the items are spices, and the dish really is easy to assemble.

Serves 4 Generously

The Stew:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
3 garlic doves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups diced green beans
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed in a strainer
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into sixths and diced

The Couscous:

2 1/4cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups couscous

1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in all the spices and saute 2 minutes, stirring often.

2. Mix in the tomatoes, water, saffron, carrot, sweet potato, beans, raisins, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally.

3. Mix in the chickpeas and zucchini, cover the pot, and cook 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. At this point check the consistency of the sauce. If it seems too watery, cook uncovered a few minutes to thicken it.

4. To make the couscous, combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Let sit 10 minutes to absorb all the liquid. Fluff with a fork before serving. Place a portion of couscous in the center of each serving plate and top with a mound of vegetables.

Vegetarian Classics. Copyright © by Jeanne Lemlin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Recipe

Classic Vegetarian Lasagna Béchamel

Using a thick béchamel sauce (called balsamella in Italian) instead of ricotta cheese establishes the silken character of this luscious lasagna. "Oven-ready" noodles (no pre-cooking necessary) simplifies the assembly, making this lasagna a good choice when you want to multiply the dish for a crowd.

Béchamel Sauce:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons unbleached flour
3 cups low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 cups Easy Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine
Olive oil for greasing
12 lasagna noodles from one 8-ounce package "oven-ready" (no-boil) lasagna
2-1/2 cups (8 ounces) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese.

  1. To make the béchamel sauce: heat the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes, whisking often. Whisk in the milk, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk until the mixture boils and thickens, then stir in the Parmesan cheese. Remove from the heat. (The sauce may be prepared and chilled up to 24 hours in advance. Warm it slightly over low heat before using.)
  2. Combine the marinara or tomato sauce with the wine (an addition to the wine already in the sauce).
  3. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.
  4. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange 3 noodles vertically on the sauce, making sure the noodles don't touch each other; they need room for expansion.
  5. Spread about 3/4 cup béchamel sauce on the noodles, then top with 1/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the sequence 3 more times: tomato sauce, noodles, béchamel sauce, and mozzarella. Cover the dish with foil. (The lasagna can be assembled and refrigerated up to 8 hours in advance. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
  6. Bake 30 minutes, covered. Remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more. Let sit 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Classic Lentil Soup
Serves 4-6 as a main course

When vegetarianism gained momentum in the 1960s, lentil soup became a staple. In its rich flavor, high-protein content, and ease of preparation make it an ideal "meal" for those seeing an alternative to traditional meat-centered fare. Still a favorite among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, lentil soup deserves place on the list of the world's greatest soups.

For best results it is a good idea to make this soup early in the day so the flavors can develop to their fullest.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 large onions, finely diced
10 cups water
1-1/4 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
4 carrots, finely diced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1/3 cup tomato paste mixed with ½ cup water
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  1. Pour the oil in a large stockpot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in all the remaining ingredients except the vinegar and butter. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes. When done, the soup will be thick and the vegetables tender. Stir in the vinegar and butter just before serving.

Gorgonzola Polenta Topped with Braised Green Beans
Serves 4

Gorgonzola and other blue cheeses are excellent additions to polenta, contributing a deep, rich flavor and added creaminess.

The Green Beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 (14-ounce) can ready-cut diced tomatoes with their juice
1 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/4 teaspoon salt

The Polenta:
3-1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces (3/4 cup) diced Gorgonzola or other blue cheese

  1. To make the beans, heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, green beans, and salt, and partially cover the pan. Simmer until the green beans are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. To make the polenta, bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan. Drizzle in the cornmeal very slowly, whisking all the while with a wire whisk. When all the cornmeal has been added, turn the heat to medium-low and continue to whisk the polenta until it has thickened and is the consistency of mashed potatoes, about 7 minutes. Whisk in the butter and Parmesan and Gorgonzola cheeses. Serve immediately or remove from the heat, cover the pan, and let sit 10 minutes. Spoon onto serving plates and mound the braised green beans on top.
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